Foxconn's Push Into Televisions Hints at Preparation for Possible Apple Television

The New York Times reports on Foxconn's efforts to diversify its business, recognizing that while Apple is and will remain an important customer currently responsible for about 40% of Foxconn's revenue, it needs to tap into other markets in order to improve its own stability.

One major push for Foxconn has been the television market, where it has invested with Sharp in an LCD panel factory in Japan and begun releasing its own televisions in partnerships with RadioShack and Vizio.

Analysts say Foxconn’s strategy satisfies two seemingly contradictory goals. The company does not want to compete with clients directly, because it has TV assembly orders from Sony, Sharp and Toshiba. [...] But it needs to absorb excess LCD panels produced by the Sakai factory to take advantage of the lower manufacturing cost per unit. Therefore, Foxconn negotiates with partners to sell the television at or below its production cost.

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Despite the push into televisions, including the partnership with Vizio, which is the top-selling brand in the United States for television over 60 inches, Foxconn is said to need additional large partners with Apple viewed as the primary target.

Analysts say Mr. Gou’s efforts to buy an LCD factory and vertically integrate his television manufacturing represent anticipation that orders for an Apple television product will come his way.

“Their gamble now is if Apple will put out a TV, and they should know better than anyone else in the world,” said [Thompson] Wu, the Credit Suisse analyst. “They’re making a bet that it’ll work.”

Almost exactly one year ago, Foxconn chairman Terry Gou was initially reported to have confirmed that the company was making preparations for an Apple television set, but the company quickly clarified the situation to deny that any specific acknowledgement had been made.

Foxconn noted that Gou had refused to discuss or speculate on any specific product and merely stated generally that Foxconn is "always prepared to meet the manufacturing needs of customers should they determine that they wish to work with Foxconn in the production of any of their products".

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

imgonephishin Avatar
143 months ago
Sometimes I imagine the day-to-day job of an analyst involves a lot of this:

"Siri, remind me every four weeks to release a research note about an Apple TV."
"Siri, remind me every two weeks to release a research note about an Apple iWatch."
"Siri, remind me every three weeks to release a research note about iPhone supply chain inventory."
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Chumburro2U Avatar
143 months ago
hmmm

Only time will tell if this proves to be a success for Apple. I have serious doubts that they should be attempting to compete in a market where established hard brand leaders exist.

4K Television will ultimately become commonplace, but not ye and not for a few years in my opinion. Yes, Apple have the available funds to allow them to give this a try, but personally I would prefer they remain focus on what they know, rather then trying to enter a market in which they really have no established mark.

You do know that Apple entered a market (mobile phones) in which they had no established mark? :apple:
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TWSS37 Avatar
143 months ago
Most of what Apple sells is made in China.
Not seeing any viable complaints about quality.

----------


Ya know, if that lawnmower or barbecue was built to Apple's standards, worthy of the Apple logo, I'd buy it - not because "it's Apple", but because I could trust it will work the way I expect and not stop working or rust out not long after purchase.

A lot of businesses would make the right long-term business decision by focusing on usability rather than being the cheapest POS out there.

Because the lawnmowing industry has such a reputation for products that stop working or rust out? Have you bought a comparably priced lawn mower in the, I don't know, past 20 years?

People, stop using comparisons that make no sense. If you were to buy virtually any product that cost as much as an Apple item, you wouldn't be replacing it in the first place. Don't say you'd buy an Apple super deluxe lawnmower when your entire life you've used hand me down push mowers.

Oh, if Apple made grills you'd buy one because you wouldn't be worried about quality of product? Have you ever used a Weber? Believe it or not, companies exist in their respective marketplaces that have high standards and quality products that equal or exceed Apple's products in the technology sector.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MultiMediaWill Avatar
143 months ago
Does anyone read the titles before posting an article? This title sounds so awkward.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mac21ND Avatar
143 months ago
I'm in the market for a new TV. Just give me something to buy. :D
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fivedots Avatar
143 months ago
You don't think the millions of image conscious Americans are not going to pay a premium for a all metal tv with a Apple logo on it? They won't be able to make enough.

Sure, millions will. Millions would also pay premium for lawnmower or a barbeque with an Apple logo on it. Just because something will sell does not mean it is the right long-term business decision.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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